More Bath Salt Drug Cases Showing Up: Parkview ER Doctor

By Jeff Neumeyer

June 9, 2011 Updated Jun 9, 2011 at 6:08 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A Parkview Hospital emergency room physician says his staff is treating more patients with bad side effects from bath salts, one of the newest designer drugs that, at least for now, are perfectly legal in Indiana.

Dr. Christian Bridgwater from Parkview says bath salt abusers often have to be sedated, so their level of agitation can be lowered enough so they can be dealt with in an E-R setting.

Bath salts sold in plastic containers in malls and convenience stores are not for use in a bathtub at all.

Drug abusers smoke, inject, or snort the powdery substance inside.

Teri Scott from Allen County says her son snorted the stuff Sunday, and wound up in the hospital, saying he felt like he was losing his mind.

Leaders in the state senate insist bath salts are covered in the state's new k-2 ban, set to take effect July first.

Dr. Christian Bridgwater/Parkview E-R Physician: " Anytime you have this kind of new emergence of a drug, and you know the public is being harmed by it, you have to act quickly to get it under control. If you're out there and you hear about this, don't experiment with this drug. It's exceedingly dangerous."

The drug is said to cause hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

Dickie Sanders of Louisiana killed himself after using bath salts.

Nearly as disturbing, the serious long-term mental problems showing up in bath salt abusers.

Poison centers nationwide report that in the first three months of this year they already had taken four times the number of calls on bath salts that they took all of last year.

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